If you're like me, there are 3 things you hold dear to your heart. 1) good music 2) quality beer 3) delicious food. Last month, two out of my three favorite things collided when Bell's Brewery announced they would be putting out a limited release of beers dubbed "The Planet Series" inspired by the music of Gustav Holst.
Ok, so you might not know who Gustav Holst is as I assume most of you aren't driving around Baching out in your car. (sorry, my inner classical music nerd could not help but write that horrible pun). Holst was an English composer. His principal instrument was the trombone, but like most other classical musicians he also played the piano & violin. His most popular work is "The Planets" composed between 1914-1916. It is a seven movement orchestral piece, each movement is inspired by the corresponding astrological character of the planet. You'll notice Earth & Pluto are not in the series. Earth has no corresponding astrology, & Pluto has yet to be discovered. (yes, I know...Pluto is not a planet anymore anyways.) Each movement has nothing to do with the classical mythology of each character as Holst let the music, "have its way with him" while composing it. According to Holst, The Planets is a, "series of mood pictures." No doubt he had to be influenced by his peers, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Debussy, Rimsky-Korsakov, etc. What makes this composition so great is that it combines late romanticism with early modern composition.
Larry Bell, head brewmaster/president of Bell's Brewery, announced last month that they will be putting out limited release six packs of each planet in the composition. If you're lucky you may be able to find the beers on draft as well. The series starts next month with the release of "Mars - The Bringer of War" - double IPA. A new planet will be released in 2 month intervals. God, I can hardly wait. Bell's Brewery puts out some of the BEST beer. I don't know about you, but I plan on listening to each movement while sipping on the corresponding beer and boldly go where no woman has gone before.
I will be putting updates of each beer and some additional information on the corresponding movement as they are released.
Official Set List (from Bell's Brewery website):
"Mars, The Bringer of War" – Double IPA
"Venus, The Bringer of Peace" – A Blonde Ale brewed with honey, apricot, vanilla and cardamom
"Mercury, The Winged Messenger" – A Belgian Single
"Jupiter, The Bringer of Jollity" – A malt forward Brown Ale
"Saturn, The Bringer of Old Age" – A Bourbon Barrel-aged Barleywine
"Uranus, The Magician" – Black Double IPA
"Neptune, The Mystic" – A beer inspired by Dr. Bell’s Medicinal Stout, one of Larry Bell’s homebrews that also helped inspire Eccentric Ale
If you're not familiar with Holst's work you can listen to it below: